Pulling Out: The ‘Birth Control’ Method On The Rise

pulling out

Things are getting hot and heavy in the bedroom, one thing leads to another, and the fateful words are uttered, ‘do you have a condom?’

…and you look at each other with the same expression. No.

Does that stop us from having sex? Nope. Instead, you use the pulling out method.

The pulling out method is when the guy pulls out prior to ejaculating, thus preventing semen from getting inside the vagina.

I could say you should only be having sex with a condom, but with the amount of people relying on this ‘contraceptive method’, it’s simply not realistic.  So, with this in mind, here are some things you should know.


It’s one of the most common forms of ‘birth control’

Because it’s free and non-hormonal, this (genuinely) is one of the most common forms of birth control. It’s typically used by longer-term couples.

In fact, 60% of the couples in the US have used the pulling out method during intercourse.

It’s not particularly effective

No contraceptive is 100% effective. However, using a condom or birth control is obviously more efficient at preventing pregnancy than the pull out method. The problem with this method, is trusting and controlling the guy doing the pulling out.

The challenge for men is withdrawing his manhood before ejaculation. Because, well, it feels pretty good. So, it’s basically about timing. If your partner has a problem with self-control, definitely use a condom.

What about pre-cum? 

What’s all this about pre-cum? There is much confusion, but, research shows that pre-cum does contain active sperm. However, pre-cum is made up of one-third of active sperm, so though there is sperm in pre-cum, it’s a smaller amount than during ejaculation.

This doesn’t mean the female can’t get pregnant, because she still can. So even if you do pull out in time, there’s still a chance for pregnancy.

The cons to pulling out

Of course, the main issue is the risk. Particularly, if the guy doesn’t pull out on time, you are at higher risk of pregnancy.

In addition, pulling out doesn’t secure you from contracting an STI. Because you’re not wearing a condom, you increase your chances of contracting one, especially if you’re using this method during a one night stand.

Unfortunately STIs are also on the rise: In 2016 there were almost 2.5 million new attendances at sexual health clinics – up from 1.9 million in 2012.*

Why risk it? 

Let’s be honest, men who pressure women into having sex without a condom: it’s not because they want to bond with you and have a ‘connection.’ It’s simple: It feels better.

Have a backup plan

If you’re going to use the pull out method, then you should always be prepared in case it goes wrong. Like, if he forgets to pull out. So, make sure you have access to emergency contraception and a condom. However, if you’re suspicious, perhaps don’t have sex with him.

Know your cycle

If you’re a woman, and you prefer the pull out method, then you need to know your body. Download an app to help you track your cycles and makes you aware when you’re ovulating. During those peak fertility days, use a condom.

Don’t do it just because other people are

Everyone is doing it – all your friends – it’s the “in” thing right now. It’s normal, isn’t it?

I can’t express enough that you need to do what you feel is right. If you’re not comfortable trying it, you don’t have to.

There’s nothing wrong with using a condom. If you’re a woman, since you’re at risk for pregnancy, you make the decision of the contraception used during sex. It’s your body.

STI Check-ups

If you’re having sex using the pulling out method and you’re not in a committed relationship, make sure you have regular STI tests. Even if you’re in a committed relationship, you should be getting tested. Not all STIs show up right away, so if you’re in a new relationship, you may not see the symptoms until later on.

[Read: The Importance of Getting Tested]


At the end of the day, it’s your body and you should know what’s going in it (or in this case, out of it too)



*The Independent, 2nd August 2017

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1 Comment

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